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The modular Framework Laptop 16 opens up for pre-orders

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Framework have now put up the modular and customizable Framework Laptop 16 for pre-order featuring the latest AMD Ryzen CPUs and AMD Radeon GPUs. An exciting time to be a hardware fan because Framework do some great stuff.

They're again staggering the release with a batch order system though, so that they don't get completely overwhelmed. Ordering is open in US, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, and Australia with a refundable $100 deposit to grab a place in line.

Sounds pretty awesome too: "We’re not only using AMD Ryzen™ and Radeon™ silicon, but we developed this product in close collaboration with AMD as part of the AMD Advantage program. We’re leveraging AMD Ryzen™ 7040 Series processors, the latest generation that we also use in Framework Laptop 13 (AMD Ryzen™ 7040 Series), this time with HS-class parts optimized for gaming and creation. Configurations start with the Ryzen™ 7 7840HS with 8 Zen 4 CPU cores at up to 5.1GHz boost, and we also offer the totally overkill, top of the line Ryzen™ 9 7940HS with up to 5.2GHz boost. We worked with Cooler Master to design a thermal system with dual 75mm fans, three heatpipes, and a liquid metal thermal interface, enabling 45W continuous processor load while also keeping the laptop cool and quiet. There’s fantastic graphics performance built in too, with Radeon 780M graphics with 12 RDNA 3 cores, capable of running a range of modern game titles."

Even though it's pretty powerful out of the box with the basic components, they're also doing a dedicated Graphics Module for their Expansion Bay that allows you to add in an AMD Radeon RX 7700S GPU. They say they've maxed out what it can do to give you 100W sustained TGP and 8GB GDDR6 at up to 18Gbps. Not only that but the module has its own dedicated heatsink and higher CFM fans, so that the CPU and GPU can run at full wattage simultaneously.

You can see AMD's own video on it below as well:

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It also comes with a 16 inch 165Hz 2560x1600 display with FreeSync, an 85Wh battery, more powerful "quad" speakers compared with their previous model 13, WiFI 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, a 1080p webcam with dual mics and hardware privacy switches and there's also a fingerprint reader.

Pricing starts at £1,399 for the DIY edition where you build it and £1,699 for pre-built.

They do regular Linux testing for their devices with both the 13 and new 16 working great with Linux. They've also previously sent out hardware to a few Linux developers as well. Some compatibility details can be found here.

Check it out on the Framework Store.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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mahagr Jul 18, 2023
No nordic version yet, though.. I am considering of buying one, but I guess I have to wait for a bit longer it to come to sale in here and with the keyboard layout we use.

Currently we are using MacBook Pro (the last Intel model). It's still good, but I would love to jump to Linux laptop instead of relying on OSX.

Last edited by mahagr on 18 July 2023 at 7:28 pm UTC
grigi Jul 18, 2023
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I just fed the kids and the email that declares orders opening up came in.
Considering I have been holding off on upgrading my half broken notebook because I wanted something that would be supported on Linux (and the FW16 is just plain cool in how repairable/upgradeable it is) I already had a budget and everything set aside.

So, instantly tried to order one.

And the site went down.
Kept on trying, and I managed to get a Batch 1 reservation in! Yay!

In the first hour they sold out batches 1 & 2, and 3 followed in the next hour.
Crazy fast sales.
Calinou Jul 19, 2023
Kudos for providing the ability to have a Radeon 780M and lots of RAM with no dedicated GPU setup, which is uncommon in other laptops for some reason. (Not having a dedicated GPU means lower weight, longer battery life and fewer driver issues in general.)

RAM speeds seem to be limited to 5600 MHz according to the FAQ, unfortunately. (It's pretty important to have RAM that runs as fast as possible to improve IGP performance, as it's often bandwidth-constrained.) Have people figured out how to run faster RAM in another Framework laptop?

Last edited by Calinou on 19 July 2023 at 12:56 am UTC
PublicNuisance Jul 19, 2023
I applaud them on what they're doing and have done but they're still way behind Nova Custom and Purism for me. Also behind System76. I place a high priority on having Coreboot support as well as being able to run the libre kernel. I don't game on laptops myself.
mihaib Jul 19, 2023
Not available in Romania, I do hope it will become available at some point to be honest. Although, making the price for the German version, it starts at 1500 euros the DIY version.
lectrode Jul 19, 2023
AMD CPU + AMD GPU in a fully modular, repairable, upgradeable gaming laptop is huge. I've got my preorder in, but I'm really hoping that 3rd party mod developers can make a keyboard module with a trackpoint (especially now that it is separate from the rest of the palmrest). If they can't, that's the main thing I'll miss while using it (I'd be happy to purchase and/or help fund such an endeavor)
jaylittle Jul 19, 2023
Quoting: PublicNuisanceI applaud them on what they're doing and have done but they're still way behind Nova Custom and Purism for me. Also behind System76. I place a high priority on having Coreboot support as well as being able to run the libre kernel. I don't game on laptops myself.
Beware Purism. They have effectively devolved into a scam company. I wouldn't touch any of their products with a ten foot pole at this point. People are still suffering from unresolved issues on their Librem 14s not to mention still waiting for shipments and/or refunds on the Librem 5s that they preordered five years ago now. Meanwhile Purism is spitting out blog posts every other week claiming that the Librem 5 will hit shipping parity in the next few weeks and has been doing this for at least six months now.

I get wanting Coreboot and wanting to avoid firmware blobs - but in my opinion, and I say this as a former Librem 15v3 laptop owner, its just not worth it.

Last edited by jaylittle on 19 July 2023 at 12:05 pm UTC
lejimster Jul 19, 2023
If this had been available when I was looking for a laptop I definitely would have considered grabbing one. I love the modular design and ability to repair and upgrade fairly easy.
sarmad Jul 19, 2023
Is this the best Linux laptop ever? It surely looks like it.
RanceJustice Jul 21, 2023
Hardware wise it looks pretty great, though its a bit surprising that ordering now will be apparently delivered into Q1 2024 (batch 7 at time of writing)! The specs are impressive overall, but I'm a tad disappointed that the GPU module only includes 8GB of VRAM; while it thankfully can be upgraded, especially by launching early next year a model with 16GB or even 12GB would be preferable provided the GPU has the other features/power to make use of it. Nvidia has been stingy with their VRAM at all but the highest end over the last two generations where, mixed with the price, this is a place that AMD can gain some ground. Very glad to see a high end AMD CPU option and that the discrete GPU option is AMD as well, though I do have a concern I'll mention a bit later.

Aside from this however, the hardware and specs look very impressive, managing to offer high end components in reasonably thin and aesthetically pleasing packages. I am particularly glad to see that not only is the display capable for many different usage types including high brightness high refreshrate gaming and creator work (I am a bit disappointed they don't have an OLED model, but if one arrives in the future upgrades can be installed by the user!), but there are expanded keyboard options! Powered by the FOSS QMK firmware, users can even upgrade to RGB backlighting for their keyboard instead of the default white, but even more interesting is the ability to either use spacers of various colors, a white backlit numpad module, or a RGB capable matrix of macro keys instead! USB4 and 240W charging capability on at least some (2 of the 6?) expansion card modules is great to see as well. Overall, very impressive from a hardware standpoint and for the most part it seems they're choosing libre friendly options...in some cases.

Unfortunately this does bring me to one concern with regards to the firmware. Framework is uniquely positioned (among a handful of others, such as System76) to make real gains for libre firmware and ensure that any custom hardware is made with openness in mind. There are other companies in this arena, but many use either old or very limited hardware and create a "If you care about privacy or openness, prepare to sacrifice convenience, power/modern components, and a considerable portion of your bank account" situation. While there are certain edge cases this is understandable, its very niche and often there are issues regardless (another user posted about one of those companies and a negative experience above). Framework, System76 and perhaps a couple others seem to be pushing back against this dynamic, thankfully.

With AMD's plans to institute OpenSIL firmware instead of AGESA proprietary over the next 3 years or so, it would be an excellent "test bed" for devices like those from Framework (and System76, especially their upcoming fully custom laptops) if they were able to use an libre init system and verified user control of components like the PSP and the like. At the moment, Coreboot is not compatible with AMD devices and while individual users and projects can advocate for its support, a niche though significant hardware partner like Framework could do a lot for openness if they were motivated to do so; it would be yet another "everybody wins" scenario if AMD could be convinced, much like how their Linux drivers have been a bright spot in the community and leading to many Linux-interested users purchasing AMD APU and GPUs. In the past, I read some disappointing elements regarding Framework and Coreboot, but that was several years ago and Intel focused. Sytem76 has done a lot of good work in similar contributions despite the fact they are using generally whiteboxed laptop hardware so far and if Framework can do something similar, especially regarding AMD, that will be a great contribution the the open/libre community on the firmware/software side, as well as their obvious contribution to upgrade, open, and modular hardware.

In any case, Framework continues to be one of the top choices for purchasing a laptop that is ethically aligned with open ethos and I hope they continue moving in the right direction .

Last edited by RanceJustice on 21 July 2023 at 8:19 am UTC
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